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Fire and Water

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 13 July 2018 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


There are countless opportunities to photograph beautiful coastal scenery and seascapes along the Great Ocean Road. There are some obvious places and others that might just surprise you. Apollo Bay was one such location whether the rocky shore provided many wonderful angles and perspectives, especially combined with the best sunrise of the trip.

We stayed there for only one night and I had plans to scout possible sunrise locations. However, the day before we were chasing waterfalls all day and then I was chasing a good location for a sunset that promised a lot but never delivered, therefore I did not get much chance to scout in the evening. I checked the usual weather conditions and tide times before heading out in the dark to find a good spot for a sunrise.

I was jumping rocks with a torch and trying to visualise various rock shapes and water pools for possible compositions. I could see some breaks just over the horizon and as the first light starting to push through, I could see a potential for a superb dawn. That made me almost panic a little bit, as I was worried about not being able to find a good spot in the dark and losing a chance to photograph the colours during sunrise.

I went back and forth along the shore, storing possible locations in my mind in case I found nothing better along the way. I ended up retreating quickly to one of the places I found just as I first arrived on the beach. It was still very dark but I was able to set up a composition using my torch and liveview in my camera. I fired of a couple of testers to check exposure and focus and when I was finally satisfied I waited for the light to become bright enough to be able to shoot at lower ISO.

This photo was taken while it was still fairly dark. Thirty second exposure makes it look brighter than it was but I did not want to lose too much detail and reflected tones in the rocks. There is enough texture coming through from the bottom of the pool without taking over the scene. The key elements for me were the rocky edge in the foreground reflecting sunrise tones along the edge of the pool, the second "wall" or rocks closing the pool from the top and obviously the sky with its vibrant tones.

I was able to find some other good spots once it got brighter and will post some more shots from the sunrise at Apollo Bay in the future.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 30 seconds F/8.0 ISO 200 16 mm

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